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   The former metro-east judge at the center of a courthouse drug scandal could learn his punishment today on federal gun and heroin charges.  

   Last month U.S. District Judge Joe Billy McDade rejected a plea deal with former St. Clair County judge Michael Cook. McDade had called the proposed 18 month prison term too lenient. The judge delayed proceedings until today to give both sides time to negotiate a stiffer prison sentence for him to consider.  

   At a 10:30 a.m. hearing, McDade could hand down that sentence  -- if the two sides came to terms and if McDade finds the sentence stiff enough.  

   Cook still has the right to withdraw his November guilty plea and request a trial.

Friday, 28 March 2014 04:25
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   On Friday Illinois state education officials will receive the results of a cheating investigation involving Highland Community Unit School District 5.  

   Highland Superintendent Mike Sutton tells KMOV-TV that the month-long investigation determined that a district teacher had helped students who were taking the standardized ISAT test in 2013.  

   The school board on Monday sent the teacher a letter of remedial warning that said in part that 11 students "consistently reported the same actions" by the teacher and since the teacher couldn't explain why the students would fabricate the allegations, the board found the students accounts to be "more credible" than the teacher's.  

   The board is ordering the teacher to undergo additional training and follow the districts policies in order to maintain their job.  

   The teacher still hasn't been identified, but that could change if the state board takes more action on the matter. 

Friday, 28 March 2014 02:50
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   The official opening of the long-delayed Ballpark Village is being called a success.  Hundreds crowded into the entertainment complex next to Busch Stadium for the official ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday afternoon.
   Governor Jay Nixon and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay were among the dignitaries who addressed the crowd inside the Fox Sports Midwest Live! central plaza.  After a private VIP party, the doors opened to the general public for a free concert by Third Eye Blind.  
   Earlier in the day, the Cardinal's had announced a controversial ban on team jerseys except on home game days had been lifted.  Cardinal's president Bill DeWitt III spoke with Fox 2 News about the controversy surrounding the dress code at some venues. "It's basically an example of how much people care about this thing," he said.  DeWitt says its good that people are worrying about what they're going to wear when the come to Ballpark Village. "So I look at it as a sign that people are highly interested."   
   The $100 million first phase of Ballpark Village is anchored by Cardinals Nation, Budweiser Brew House, FOX Sports Midwest Live!, PBR St. Louis – A Cowboy Bar, Howl at the Moon, and Drunken Fish. Ballpark Village features five live performance stages, the largest retractable roof of its kind, the biggest indoor TV screen in the Midwest and an outdoor festival space that recreates the infield of the previous Busch Stadium in its exact historical location. 
 
* * *
Additional opening weekend events:
 
Friday, March 28th
11 AM Open for Lunch: Cardinals Nation, FOX Sports Midwest Live!, Budweiser Brew House & Drunken Fish 
5 – 7 PM Founders VIP Event honoring the Construction Workers 
 
Saturday, March 29th
6 – 8:30 PM Cardinals Nation Restaurant Grand Opening Ceremony & Private Party 
7 PM St. Louis Blues Hockey Watch Party in FOX Sports Midwest Live! 
8:30 – 10 PM Budweiser Brew House Grand Opening 
8:30 PM Fireworks Display over Busch Stadium 
 
Sunday, March 30th
11 AM – 5 PM Ballpark Village Family Fun Event 
9PM – 1AM Red Bull Hospitality Party 
 
Monday, March 31st
11 AM FOX Sports Midwest Live! Grand Opening 
3:10 PM Cardinals Season Opener Watch Party at FOX Sports Midwest Live! 
 
Thursday, April 3rd
6 PM Throwback Thursday Debut at FOX Sports Midwest Live! 
 
Friday, April 4th
5 – 7 PM Inaugural Fridays on Clark featuring Dr. Zhivegas 
9 PM PBR St. Louis – A Cowboy Bar Grand Opening Party 
9 PM The Barn at PBR St. Louis Grand Opening Party 
 
Monday, April 7th  – Opening Day in St. Louis 
10 AM Cardinals Nation Museum & Hall of Fame Grand Opening 
Noon Opening Day Rally on Busch II Infield & Ballpark Village Lot 
 
 
Friday, 28 March 2014 02:35
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JUPITER, Fla. (AP) -- Michael Wacha looked sharp in his final spring start Thursday, giving up a run in five innings of the St. Louis Cardinals' 6-4 loss to the Miami Marlins.
 
Wacha gave up four hits and struck out six. He is scheduled to start the Cardinals' second game of the season, on Tuesday at Cincinnati. He will start the home opener in St. Louis on April 7.
 
Wacha did struggle in the fifth. Derek Dietrich led off with a walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch, moved to third on Marcell Ozuna's single and scored on Brian Bogusevic's sacrifice fly to right.
 
"It got a little away from me in that last inning, but overall I was pretty happy with it," Wacha said.
 
Marlins infielder Ed Lucas broke his left hand when he was hit by a pitch. His injury should make room for Donovan Solano, who was sent to Triple-A New Orleans earlier in the day.
 
The Marlins won all six games against the Cardinals this spring. After losing 100 games last season, they finished 2014 Grapefruit League play at 18-11-2.
 
"It doesn't matter what it is, if it's a pickup game or a spring training game - winning is winning," Miami manager Mike Redmond said. "We all like to win. It feels good for everybody."
 
The Cardinals were 11-13-2.
 
STARTING TIME:
 
Cardinals: Shelby Miller will remain in Jupiter when the Cardinals head north on Friday. Miller will pitch in a minor league game on Saturday before rejoining the club. He is scheduled to start the Cardinals' fourth game of the season at Pittsburgh.
 
Marlins: Redmond named Tom Koehler as the club's fifth start, beating out Brad Hand, who will head to the bullpen. The Marlins will have a starting rotation of Jose Fernandez, Nathan Eovaldi, Henderson Alvarez, Jacob Turner and Koehler.
 
TRAINER'S ROOM
 
Cardinals: Reliever Jason Motte will face minor league hitters on Saturday. He is working his way back from elbow-ligament replacement surgery and could be ready for major league action by the end of April. ... Jaime Garcia is expected to throw another bullpen in the next couple days. No time frame has been set for his return.
 
Marlins: Though the team doesn't expect to make an official decision until Sunday, Redmond said he expects second baseman Rafael Furcal to begin the season on the disabled list. A sore hamstring has limited Furcal to 18 spring training at-bats.
 
MARLIN MOVES
 
Miami reassigned pitcher Henry Rodriguez to the minor leagues. Rodriguez, 5-7 with a 4.24 ERA in a five-year career that includes stints with Oakland, Washington and the Cubs, signed as a free agent in the offseason. Rodriguez has a clause in his contract allowing him to opt out of a minor league assignment. The 27-year-old righty struck out 14 and allowed six runs in nine Grapefruit League innings.
 
The Marlins also optioned outfielder Jake Marisnick to New Orleans. They reassigned pitcher Chris Hatcher, outfielder Matt Angle and infielders Juan Diaz and Austin Nola to the minor leagues.
 
SCORE THIS
 
The Cardinals employed a defensive shift against left-handed hitting Jarrod Saltalamacchia that moved third baseman Matt Carpenter into short right field, leaving shortstop Jhonny Peralta as the lone defender on the left side of the infield. Saltalamacchia hit the ball to the perfectly positioned Carpenter, who threw on to first for an unconventional 5-3 put out.
 
ATTENDANCE UP
 
The Cardinals averaged 6,733 fans for their 14 home games at Roger Dean Stadium, an increase of more than 500 fans per game from last season. It's the largest average attendance in the Grapefruit League for St. Louis since 2010. The Marlins averaged 4,532 fans - which is more than 300 per game more than last spring.
Thursday, 27 March 2014 23:24
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